要引用《聖經》支持/反對「佔中」,不如引用耶穌支持恢復奴隸制

看到最近有人在引用《聖經》,說「耶穌和《聖經》是怎樣說,所以我們應有什麽政治行爲」。我只能說這樣的討論甚爲無聊,因爲絕大部分人,甚至虔誠教徒,均不是絕對的順從《聖經》或某本經書的説話而去決定他們的行爲。像塔利班這種原教旨主義分子,就自當別論。

《聖經》,不論是《舊約》還是《新約》,都有支持、認同或鼓勵奴隸制的説話;至少它們並沒有直接指出奴隸制的「惡」,和説明這樣的社會制度應該被禁止。假如某人堅持他需要跟隨《聖經》的説法去選擇他的行爲,他也應同時支持恢復奴隸制。

我們就只挑《新約》來說,它鼓勵奴隸不作任何反抗,繼續當奴隸:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

中文版將「奴隸」二字改成「僕人」,意圖含糊過去,欺騙讀者:

你們作僕人的、要懼怕戰兢、用誠實的心聽從你們肉身的主人、好像聽從基督一般。

而基督教徒可以大模施樣的奴役其他人,包括基督教徒。而且當奴隸的不恭敬主人,就是褻瀆上帝:

Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

中文翻譯完全不知所云,又一次將文字與意思改頭換面,欺騙世人:

凡在軛下作僕人的(註解:當奴隸的)、當以自己主人配受十分的恭敬、免得神的名和道理、被人褻瀆 。

僕人有信道的主人、不可因為與他是弟兄就輕看他,更要加意服事他 ,因為得服事之益處的、是信道蒙愛的。你要以此教訓人、勸勉人。

主人也可以隨意處罰奴隸,就算奴隸不知道自己犯了什麽錯:

The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it.  “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly.  Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given."  (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

中文

僕人知道主人的意思、卻不預備、又不順他的意思行、那僕人必多受責打。惟有那不知道的、作了當受責打的事、必少受責打,因為多給誰、就向誰多取,多託誰 、就向誰多要。

要提出「耶穌什麽什麽」,就不要採櫻桃,只挑選支持你主張的耶穌,而漠視不支持你的,甚至是「不道德」的耶穌。一般人犯這種謬誤還可以說得過去,但專欄作家兼大學教授寫出這樣的文章就應面壁三日,靜思己過;報章的編輯也要想想自己有沒有盡過編輯的責任。我很慶幸我並不生活在神權國家,不需要應付那些「耶穌/穆罕默德說什麽我就做什麽」的人;只要給這些人權力,很多非教徒就會死於石頭之下。

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51 則回應給 要引用《聖經》支持/反對「佔中」,不如引用耶穌支持恢復奴隸制

  1. Bill 說:

    只要把「僕人」改為「儍人」便可以了,老花眼胡裡胡圖看也差不多,何須回復奴隷制,不用復古,我們已經是很多東西的奴隷了。

  2. Eugene 說:

    The passage quoted are in some letters/narratives written under a context for a specific purpose, responding to a situation.

    May I suggest we read a bigger portion of the letter, instead of just choosing one verse, cuz it is really easy to have the common mistake of taking things out of context. Once taken out of context, we can pretty much bend/distort it to any meaning we want. (And this is not for Bible but is applicable to all the books, quotes of a person, etc. I think we have seen enough examples in the entertainment news etc)

    First example:

    “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

    May I suggest to continue to read what is said to the master a few sentences later:

    “Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites." (Ephesians 6:9 NLT)

    -This is a mutual advice: to both the slave and the master.

    Second example:

    “All slaves should show full respect for their masters
    so they will not bring shame on the name of God and his teaching.
    If the masters are believers, that is no excuse for being disrespectful.
    Those slaves should work all the harder because their efforts are helping other believers who are well loved." 1 Timothy 6:1-2

    May I suggest start reading 1 Timothy 5:

    The context is Paul (an experienced pastor) giving some advice to a relatively unexperienced pastor, Timothy. Timothy is facing a congregation that has the following problematic traits – the congregation is not doing what they suppose to do:
    1. dont give much respect old people
    2. dont care much about the widow (the most vulnerable group at that time as they are helpless)
    3. dont respect the teachers
    4. dont work hard because because their boss is a brother in church
    Using this slave example:
    this can be translated as: e.g.: My boss and I go to the same church. Therefore, I take advantage of that relationship and being late everyday, or slack off, etc – not doing my work.

    Pay attention: the sentence “there is no excuse for being disrespectful" is said under the immediate context of “of the masters are believers", and the background is talking about the problematic traits that the congregation is showing. Outcome is a bad testimony of God. Why? e.g.: when a customer goes to shop operated by Christians (both boss and employee), and see all the slacking and lousy service. What would be the impression?

    remmeber, this is a advice to the pastor: to teach the congregation who exhibit problematic traits, not a general teaching.

    Third example:

    The context is talking about the returning of God, the master of mankind.

    May I suggest to the paragraphs before:

    42 And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 43 If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 44 I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. 45 But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 46 The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. (Luke 12:42-46 NLT)

    please pay attention:
    first, there will be reward for faithful servant who did a good job – he will be in charge.

    ““And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. 48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

    in the first case, the servant is: know the instructions and not carry out.
    the second case: the servant is: does not know the instructions and did something wrong. He got punished lightly NOT because he did not carry out the instructions (like the first one), but because he DID something WRONG.

    Would we be able see the difference between two?

    These three examples/verses quoted, are definitely NOT a support of an abusive slavery system in the Bible.
    Indeed, Bible is talking about exercising fairness and equality – to all the parties involved.

    Take the recent incident of HKTV. In broadstroke: Mr. Wong showed that he is a good boss and treating the employees well and train them with good quality equipment, skills, and courses. He also give good compensation. The employees are showing respect and working hard for him and the company. That mutality of respect seems to give us a glimpse of what the teachings of Bible would want to achieve.

    Thanks for reading, greatly appreciate it…

  3. Eugene 說:

    as well, the above comment is only responding to the passages quoted. And that is not the only teaching/stance that the bible have, towards systems. Thank you.

  4. 陽劍文 說:

    Eugene, did the bible tell the masters to serve and obey the slaves?
    So as long as you reward them (and perhaps not abuse them), slavery is acceptable?
    Would you like to be a slave?
    It is very simple: If slavery is unacceptable, why did the bible tell people how to treat a slave instead of pointing out the problem of slavery?

    • Eugene 說:

      Hi 劍文, thank you for the response.. just my little thoughts to contribute/respond: –did the bible tell the masters to serve and obey the slaves?
      Using the passage:
      5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
      No, the passage does not tell the master to serve and obey the slaves. What the Bible is teaching from the above passage is that, the masters is to serve and obey God, who is the “common Master” of the slave and the master. The masters really need to watch out because God has no favoritism. Whatever the master is deciding to do with slave, he has to be done in fear of God.
      –as long as you reward them (and perhaps not abuse them), slavery is acceptable?
      I am not sure if slavery is acceptable or not from the passage. But it seems that the Bible is working with the existing system that was in place that Paul’s time. Note that, “working with the existing system” does not mean accepting/thinking it is good and here is why. If something is not acceptable, there is a spectrum of possible response. On one end of the spectrum is to abolish it totally. (One may be thinking about revolution, etc.) The other end is to subversively countering through living day by day and changing the pre-supposed behavior. (One can think about a rewarding master, a more than enough compensated employee. ) and everything in between.
      –Would you like to be a slave?
      I would not like to be a slave. However, one note, is that slavery has a broader and wider meaning/range of jobs than we perceive. It might include also the blue/white collar jobs.
      -It is very simple: If slavery is unacceptable, why did the bible tell people how to treat a slave instead of pointing out the problem of slavery?
      I do not know the answer as of why the Bible did not point out the problem of slavery. However, I do see that it point out the problem of the misuse of the slavery system and demand both the master and the slave to do their job under the fear of God.
      Similarly, at our present time, unfortunately, we cannot escape the effect of capitalism. However, the Bible did demand Christian (both boss/employee) to live subversively countering the core values of at their time. In NT time, slavery and Roman Empire. In our time, Christian are to live subversive countering capitalism. This applies both to the boss and the employee – while retaining their respective roles/positions under the current system. In essence, it is a lifestyle that lives in the system but not in the values of the system. Does it mean that it has abolished the system? We can make our judgement on that.
      Thanks a lot for reading…

  5. 山中 說:

    Eugene,

    Why do we need ‘context" in the discussion about slavery? Why didn’t Jesus just come out and say “owning another human being is wrong; thou shall not do that"? Why the Bible has rules regulating slavery when it can just say slavery is wrong? Why waste time and space on the first 4 commandments and not this?

    And what does HKTV have to do with any of this???

    • Eugene 說:

      Hi 山中, thank you for the response.. just my little thoughts to contribute/respond:–Why do we need ‘context” in the discussion about slavery? Why didn’t Jesus just come out and say “owning another human being is wrong; thou shall not do that”? Why the Bible has rules regulating slavery when it can just say slavery is wrong? Why waste time and space on the first 4 commandments and not this?
      I do not know why Jesus did not just come out and say one should not owning another human being. However, the context is important precisely because the original posts was quoting verses from the Bible and then use the quoted to support an argument. I write the response is to point to, when quoting something or someone, a broader context needs to be known and considered. Otherwise, it is easy to distort and misuse the quotes. Context will allow us to have an understanding, in my opinion, more “safe" in avoiding as much as possible the danger of taking things out of context.
      Since the 10 Commandments is mentioned, maybe we can discuss the importance of context from that point of view and see why they are needed. Take the If 10 commandments, e.g.. Many of us (myself included until recently) would perceive that: this is a law that was came from above (and it is). However, allow us to be provided an alternative reading: when was the 10 commandments being given? answer: when Israelites escaped from Egypt, and before establishing again as a “nation"/people. Therefore, under that context, the 10 Commandments are not only some rules from heaven that needs to adhere, Rather, it might ALSO mean something similar to the charter of freedom to the Israelites. In other words, if Israelites would like to remain free as a nation/people, they’d better to adhere to those commandments. The first four is to ensure that they know that they should be obedient to God and not going towards idolatry as God is the provider and also the One who free them. The next 6 address how they treat each other. This is why first 4 cannot be omitted.
      just to add: going back to the original proposal/argument:
      假如某人堅持他需要跟隨《聖經》的説法去選擇他的行爲,他也應同時支持恢復奴隸制。
      1. The discussion is based on New Testament quote. However, since the quotes are not represented with broader context considered, 引用耶穌支持恢復奴隸制 is not as solid. (of course the whole article can be a “反諷" of people misusing the Bible. However, from what was perceived, it does not sound like a total “反諷")
      2. Based on it is not 反諷, then the supporting quotes needs to be investigated. And thats when context comes into play.
      3. The context of the quoted verse does not 支持、認同或鼓勵 slavery. therefore, the validity of 假如某人堅持他需要跟隨《聖經》的説法去選擇他的行爲,他也應同時支持恢復奴隸制 is questionable.

      Another issue: 要提出「耶穌什麽什麽」,就不要採櫻桃,只挑選支持你主張的耶穌,而漠視不支持你的,甚至是「不道德」的耶穌。
      Many would assume that there is a one answer to the question: Is occupy central Biblical or not? either yes or no. I think the 信報 article based on a narrative in the gospel, and from that narrative, an interpretation is derived and then being appropriated to the current occupy central issue. I think if one were to oppose such write up, may be (just in my little opinion) one can point out why the use of that passage is not appropriate, or, use other passages to appropriate the same occupy central issue but with the opposite response.
      Bottom line is: one might need to pass through the struggle that people can have their own opinion and as long as it is grounded in the scripture (with evidence shown that the original intent of Scripture is in that direction – that’s when context comes in), then it is a Biblical response. And Biblical response can be vary and even in tension with one another. This might not be of much value to many, but I guess, to the Bible believing Christians, this is important as their action is grounded in the Bible to the best of their knowledge and faith.
      –And what does HKTV have to do with any of this???
      My apologies if that illustration does not work as I intended. To elaborate more on HKTV. I remember that there is a picture taken when the staff of HKTV are being laid off last October. They were smiling with Mr. Wong in the picture. This is quite extra-ordinary. From what the other news etc, it shows that Mr. Wong is treating the employees well, in terms of equipment, training, and compensation, and respect. The employees, in return, are working hard for the company wholeheartedly with passion. Now, the highlight is, both Mr. Wong and the staffs are still functioning under capitalism. Mr. Wong is still the boss and staffs are employees. This relationship portrait is very different from what is usually being perceived as a boss/employee relationship under capitalism: where the boss has only one goal of money-making and the employees are only seen as tools to generate income.
      This boss/employee relationship is probably the closest image/illustration that I can think of as the outcome of a good boss/employee relationship.
      In our discussion: If the Bible advice on slavery is being taken seriously by the master and the slave, it will create a very different picture – that counters the core values of slavery.
      One might ask: can we really compare slavery versus employee? It can be argued both ways, however, some similarities cannot be ignored (in our discussion). They are similar in terms of 1) the system in operation in the world at that time 2) one (master/boss) have control of the use of time/life over the other (slave/employee); 3) rewards/compensations is given.
      Are there blurred lines? Yes. I couldn’t stop thinking about the poor workers in China and now in India, or even North America. People are working long hours producing what we consume in the sweatshops and being compensated very little. May be just enough to eat or not even. Is that a kind of slavery or capitalism? I would also add: If we says that we cannot survive with low wage that we are earning, when we buy all these products from sweatshops and generate demand, we are in a way slave-keeping. What do we do about it?

    • Carol 說:

      聖經為何不譴責奴隸制度?
      文章內容
      2011-05-01 22:29:29
      -摘自“尋道本聖經”2021頁

      彼得為何不叫主人釋放他們的奴隸,反要奴仆順服他們的主人?我們可以從彼得要強調的重點得到部分答案:他的重點是希望提供給讀者壹個基督徒應有的觀點,也就是在壹個義人受逼迫的不完美社會中,基督徒該有的生活態度。彼得並非支持奴隸制度,他只是承認這個既有的事實。

      我們首先應了解第壹世紀起的奴隸制度,才能夠認清所有的問題。當時人們認為奴隸制度是既成的事實,而奴隸是當時社會中最低下的壹個階層。奴隸在當時羅馬社會中是勞動資源的骨幹,根據估計在某些地區,他們的人口超過了總人口的壹半,而且難以置信的是,有些奴隸過得比自由人還好些。當時有壹些專業人士如教師、醫生、公務員等,其實也是奴隸的身份。因這種種原因,奴隸制度是被視為中性的,並不涉及道德上的對和錯。

      奴隸制度之所以會令人憤慨,是因為19世紀美國的奴隸買賣,使多少人的家庭被拆散,且使他們喪失了個人的自由和尊嚴。在彼得的時代,也有許多人不滿壹些主人對奴隸的殘酷,雖然這種人只占少數。

      新約聖經雖然沒有特別指責奴隸制度,但卻清楚的教導暴行與壓迫是錯的。當時的社會允許主人有權在奴隸稍犯小錯時,即加以責打,甚至將他殺死,然而新約聖經的教導卻不許可主人虐待他們的奴隸。苛刻殘暴的主人要為自己的行為向神負責(弗6:9,西4:1)。

      新約聖經強調的是靈裡的自由,它所撒下的種子,後來就定了19世紀販賣奴隸的欺壓行為為罪。世人看出耶穌重視每壹個人的價值—耶穌死在拾字架上,是為主人也是為了奴隸;是為暴君也還是為受壓迫的百姓;是為富人,也是為窮人。(弗6:5-8,多2:9-10,及腓力門書)

      • 山中 說:

        所以耶穌不會説明要解放奴隸?因爲他能容許不道德的事情出現?爲什麽上帝不在十戒刻上“不能將其他人作奴隸驅使”,是他不懂還是不願意?

  6. Lai Curtis 說:

    Eugene:
    Why Paul not just said “free your slave as they are also in the love of god." to the master, but just saying do not abuse the slave? The bible teaching Christian to be a good slave master means that the bible accept Christian CAN BE a slave master.

    • Carol 說:

      新約聖經很多是書信的卷書,保羅、彼得所寫都是給當時的教會和其他基督徒的信,所以是依當時的背景來對話。如果當時有奴隸制,要勉勵一個基督徒不就是好好的順從主人嗎?

      文章作者所引用的經文是出自聖經無誤,但是就在不瞭解當時的背景和聖經作者(保羅、彼得)的用意下引用片段經文,就出現斷章取義的情況。
      (使我想起求學時,國文老師所說沒有標點的荒謬故事: 「下雨天留客天天留我不留」)

      基督徒並不是要革命,也不是要改變國家和社會形態,而是要『傳講耶穌是上帝的兒子,因為愛世人而降生,行了許多醫治不治之症,5個餅2條魚餵飽5千人的許多神蹟,最後卻因世人的罪釘死在十字架上!』

      有個牧師講到十字架的救恩,提到聖經上耶穌被釘死時,有個人嘲笑他說既然你是神的兒子,救了許多人,怎麼這時候不救你自己阿?!(就跟現在還是很多人這樣說一樣)

      是阿!耶穌是神兒子那麼厲害,怎麼那時不從十字架下來用能力把那個人的嘴封住,然後再回十字架上繼續呢? 但耶穌卻反而說:父啊!求你赦免他們的罪,因為他們所做的自己不知道。(為這些人求情)

      理由就在 — 約翰福音3:16
      神愛世人、甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們、叫一切信他的、不至滅亡、反得永生。

      • 山中 說:

        既然新約衹是在說當時的事,那請教徒不要拿著當年的新約要求現在的世界遵從你們的宗教教條,因爲你自己已經説明新約衹局限在當時。

        謝謝你告訴原來我們應該不當上帝和耶穌是一回事。

        • Carol 說:

          山中先生:你真的斷章取義的很嚴重耶!建議你別開回應了,寫些自己愛看的就好了。矇自己也矇一些門外漢。

          • Carol 說:

            我是說讀聖經新約書信時,要先瞭解當時的時代背景和『作者的原意』。
            而最後變成 — 謝謝我告訴你原來不應該當上帝和耶穌是一回事。

            這又是『另一個很造嚴重的曲解他人意思』的發生,如果這樣的情況常常出現在生活當中,會造成人際關係不好、思想偏激、甚至妄想症的產生和其他不良的影響喔!

  7. Eugene 說:

    Hi Curtis, thanks a lot for the response..here is my contribution –Eugene: Why Paul not just said “free your slave as they are also in the love of god.” to the master, but just saying do not abuse the slave? The bible teaching Christian to be a good slave master means that the bible accept Christian CAN BE a slave master.
    I do not know why Paul did not say that. It seems that it is a fabric and fact of the lives at that time. However, Bible does provide an alternative of subversive living so that the core values of slavery and also the “assumed profit taker” is being challenged (please kindly refer to my response to other fds in the above).
    thanks for reading…

  8. Eugene 說:

    More thoughts to share: I do want to point out that, the core issue that got us and get us concerned, is oppression. We are countering unfairness and oppression that is behind the slavery system, or capitalism, or even the the current political situations in hk.
    We see that the slaves are being oppressed in the slavery system. We see that employees are oppressed in the capitalism. We see that the HK people are oppressed by the government with all the unexplained/irrational/ridiculous policies/response to the issues/decisions. Oppression is to put people in a situation where escape from their current state is impossible.
    The Bible does give us a spectrum of responses to oppression:
    1. In the Old Testament, God heard the cry of the Israelites when they are being oppressed and rescued them out of slavery of Egypt.
    2. In passage quoted, the Bible teaches to live counter to the values of the systems that the society has taken for granted.
    3. God in the Bible always stands with the oppressed and the poor. It is the second mostly discussed issue in the bible and over 500 verses talked about oppressed and the poor. Remember that in a lot of situations where the poor mentioned in the Bible, it ties to the oppressed. People are poor due to circumstances out of their own control. It is definitely an important Bible teaching.
    And with all that, the ultimate result is that, God see all the good and bad one have done, in their roles in their lives, and will judge fairly. That’s the ultimate fear but also the hope of humanity. (That’s much bigger and broader than going to heaven – and definitely has a huge implication of how Christians should live).
    For more discussion on slavery, one can take a look at the book of Philemon. There are also cancelling debt, freeing slaves, etc mentioned in Deuteronomy 15, in addition to the year of Jubilee that work against multi-generational poverty.
    Thanks for the response and reading…I am learning a lot through responding.. Greatly appreciate your time.. and my apologies if it is being seen as an hijack of the original post..

  9. 山中 說:

    Eugene,

    I’m not going to read walls of words. Can you be concise and to the point? We three ask you the same question, and you haven’t answered it. If Jesus taught people to be a good slave master, then he didn’t oppose institutional slavery. The very act of his providing rules to regulate it means he supported institutional slavery in the form that he proposed.

    • Eugene 說:

      1. In my knowledge, the Bible did not spelled out “I oppose institutional slavery" (if that what you are looking for). Slavery is a system that was at work in their time of being written. context context context
      2. The “regulations" deserves better attention. In my reading, they are subversive to the values/pre-supposed beneficial arrangement. That challenges the existing system as a whole, with remedy working on the actual behavior of all the parties involved (the master and the slave). You can decide whether that is in essence an “abolishment" when the values exercised is opposite to what is being taken for granted.
      I would imagine there is some main difference in our approaches. (Please correct me if I misunderstand) You assume that not saying something literally against and/or if someone provide ways to work in the existing system automatically equals to supporting/encouraging/endorsing it. My approach is looking at what the teachings is asking people to behave and evaluate based on the values presented.
      Analogy: we cannot escape capitalism because it is at work at our society BUT we can still learn to live differently opposite to the great influence of it – while inescapably still being part of the system. For example: if someone work and earn wages in a financial institution but start learning to share what he earned with the poor (the poor being the presumed non-winners in the system) through different means as much as possible. Does it mean that he supports/encourages/endorses capitalism just by being in it? For me, it is a No. indeed, his behavior/the values behind is precisely opposite to it.
      3. Other recordings in the Bible that touches the issue of freeing the slaves: the exodus experience of the Israelites – God rescue Israelites out of slavery and free them; and the teachings on the year of Jubilee. You might be interested to check them out.
      Thanks for reading again, appreciate it…
      (sorry for the late reply as there is no notification, and I did answer individual questions, but hope that this shorter write-up is more readable)

      • 山中 說:

        What context? Isn’t the Bible supposed to god’s words? And isn’t god the source of morality? What kind of god is that if it does n’t even come out to say slavery is what?

        • Eugene 說:

          hi, 山中, thanks again..
          it looks like your assumptions are:
          1. God’s word falls from heaven and are rules/principles.
          2. God will come out to say something about something that we care about.

          Facts- which probably will not fit your expectations:
          Bible – over 60% or more is narrative, the rest include letters to a specific audience, poems written under a particular circumstances etc. The Bible, unavoidably, is written by humanity located at a particular snapshot of history and with a particular purpose. We definitely can admit that we might not find “satisfactory" answer from the Bible, and we can be disappointed and challenge the kind of God He is if He is silent on issue xyz. But is there a possibility that we are trying to look for answers with good intention but with the wrong book?

          In addition, may I also suggest that the main focus of the Bible is not even morality?

          However, what WAS mentioned in the Bible is that God sided with the oppressed and the poor. The Bible talks about the fact, the nature, and the offer of salvation and it demands Christians to love God and others.

          That’s the kind of God in the Bible.

          The original article is, is a Bible believing Christian, who, based on his understanding on a certain narrated portion of Jesus’ life, appropriate it to the current issue and articulate his response. you might not find it worth while (as stated in your article) that but that’s quite a common practice. That is faith actualized.

        • Carol 說:

          歌羅西書 Colossians

          你們作主人的、要公公平平的待僕人、因為知道你們也有一位主在天上。
          Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

    • Carol 說:

      山中先生:人家Eugene 都讀了你一篇文章,也踴躍熱情的回應。
      對於他的分享卻是 I’m not going to read walls of words.,不覺得很沒當筆者的修養嗎?
      大家互相討教,就以學習和謙卑的態度互相交流阿~^^

  10. Passerby 說:

    Eugene,

    It does not matter how much love and respect are given to the slave by the master. At the end of the day, the slave is still not a free man and does not have the freedom to leave. The Bible could have said “free your slave or treat your slave like a free person" but we all know that did not happen. It is no doubt the Bible condones a special form of slavery – as long as the master believes in God and the slave master treats his slaves well, it is okay to own a human being and take away his freedom.

    I am sure some 100 years ago, the same discussion was happening somewhere but the Bible was instead quoted to institutionalize slavery and to instruct the slaves to serve their masters with respect and love. If not for the people who questioned and defied the Bible, we probably would not be having this discussion as slavery would probably still be well-accepted.

    Aren’t u a bit conniving and deceptive writing wall of words just to avoid admitting a simple truth that “friendly" slavery has been endorsed by the Bible for 1000+ years only until very recently?

  11. Eugene 說:

    Hi Passerby, I do not intend to load the page with the word walls to deceive (I need to work on my writing skill). The keyword that I do not agree (and therefore will not be comfortable/ready to admit your statement of simple “truth") is the word “endorse/support/encourage". I would not agree that promoting an alternative living style with values that is opposite/subversive to the presumed system (context) is equal to “endorse/support/encourage" the presumed system. Thanks a lot for your reading and feedback.. appreciate it!

    • Passerby 說:

      You are being dodgy again. Slavery is about possession of a person and taking away the person’s freedom. The Bible did not suggest returning slaves to freedom. So it is not about promoting an alternative living style with values that is opposite/subversive to the presumed system. It is about suggesting a MORE ACCEPTABLE living style with values CONSISTENT WITH the presumed system. Please don’t twist the meaning in your abstraction. That’s too CY-like.

      • Eugene 說:

        Hi Passerby:

        I guess the core values of slavery perceived by you and me differs. Oppression and unfair treatement possible in the existing system is what comes to my mind. The teachings of Bible counters it. These teachings is even unique in a world where abusive and oppressive slavery is common practice.

        You core values of slavery might be referring to 1. owning a person 2. has control of use over its time and therefore you implied that freedom is taken away.

        I just want to point out we might be referring to different things and therefore the subversiveness in my mind does not match your expectation/perception.

        I do not intend to twist the meaning. (I dont think you labelling of the conversation/argument is fair.)

        • 山中 說:

          Eugene,

          What value system? Slavery is about persons being in others’ possessions, that’s it. If the teaching of Bible supports slavery, then it supports human beings being the property of other human beings. Is there any higher form of oppression than that?

          • eugene 說:

            my response:
            1. worst oppression is being mistreated, not being owned.

            Here is why: lets face it, human history is full of darkness and “being owned"/slavery happens (past and present) in many ways:
            a. stance of the “winner" on country level and personal level after war;
            b. financial reason (volunntary people need to sell themselves to get financial compensaton);
            c. our more familiar image of large scale slave trade that happens based on race;
            d. or even now – sweat shops in all the countries producing cheap products for our consumption;
            e. or even people who are high paid but actually putting in 70, 80 hours each week working in central/downtown to finish
            their work, etc.
            Note that these are FACTS happening in the past and at present, and is not going away, regardless of time.
            What makes humanity even more at pain is the mistreat and abuse under these factual slavery situations: Master doing whatever they like to the slave, sweatshop runners/boss in office demanding work to be done otherwise no breaks/weekends..

            Mistreating inflict a bigger harm.

            2. In Bible cannot be said to “support" slavery:

            Two major incidents in Bible: a. Exodus and b. Jesus Christ

            a. The Bible have narrated the freeing of enslaved Israelites from Egypt.
            b. The Bible have mention that in Christ/God, there is no distinction:
            [in the context of belonging to God]
            There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
            [in the context of new life in God]
            …a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.(colossians 3:28)

            c. Other Bible teachings when read in context, in both OT and NT are demanding actual behavoral change to the values taken for granted at that time for the protection of slaves.
            “Regulatons" that is radical.

            In all, ultimate hope of release and restore is in Christ. But the Bible demand believers to change their behavior now
            so that there is a foretaste of release for the world until Christ come back.

            ————-
            ..just share to provide an alternative possiblility reading…
            Thanks a lot for reading and the stimulations in the conversation. appreciate it.

        • Passerby 說:

          Eugene,

          Let me try to get what you mean.

          When one promotes sex and love are inseparable and instructs the prostitutes and customers to develop love and respect during prostitution, he is not supportive of prostitution.

          Also, you and I perceive the core values of prostitution differently. I see the “core value" as paid sex. You perceive the “core value" as sex without a strong emotional foundation. As such, one-night stand and sex between loveless couples are prostitution, while business with loyal customers and 援交 and 包養 are not.

          So this love promoter, instructing the customers to cuddle and kiss the prostitutes and the prostitutes to serve as if the customers are their husbands, is not endorsing prostitution because the context is love and sex are not separable.

          I am speechless.

          • eugene 說:

            Hello,
            I am not sure if I get what you are saying..
            All I want to say is, reading with the context in mind, in my understanding, the Bible does have sayings demanding people to behave differently than the rest of the people in the existing system.
            One might see this is as a confrontation, challenge, or work with, or adhere, or even encourage the system depends on what aspect are we looking. To the best of my own understanding, I am much more comfortable and convinced that it is a confrontation and challenge in the case of slavery, and the oppressive element of it.
            This also put all the Bible believing people to a practical decision point: are we going to change how we behave given the system we are living in, espeically for us who are 既得利益者?
            That brings the change, I guess, on the personal and community level, and hopefully thats a part of the change that would benefit the world.
            Thank you for reading..

  12. Carol 說:

    歌羅西書 Colossians

    你們作主人的、要公公平平的待僕人、因為知道你們也有一位主在天上。
    Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

    • 我就問你一句,是否只要奴隸主人不虐待奴隸,基督教就覺得奴隸制沒有問題?

      • Carol 說:

        不是!聖經不覺得奴隸制是沒有問題的,所以摩西才定下保障奴隸的規條。
        今天上帝賜給你我自由意志討論這個話題,祂就給基督徒和非基督徒有自由去產生奴隸制。

        是『人買人、人賣人』才有奴隸制的。

        聖經中上帝和耶穌從來沒有贊成奴隸制,耶穌反而是常常跟那些窮人和低下的人相處,幫助他們。保羅、彼得為什麼會『寫信勸告』奴僕要順從,就是因為那些奴隸是教會的人,是要鼓勵他們能做好份內的事情。

        聖經是『勸勉』人要善待奴隸(規定一定時間要放奴隸自由),既然已經成為奴隸就要好好的工作。就這樣!

        就像新約過後的基督徒傳講耶穌和上帝的愛,有些人信、有些人不信(走柔性勸說路線阿)

        另外,虐待事件也發生在各樣的情況阿,主人虐待寵物、父母虐待兒女、丈夫虐待妻子…
        難道基督教就說:我們覺得有父母制有問題、寵物制有問題、夫妻制有問題嗎?

        有小小的建議:
        若真要從個人望眼世界的話,覺得最好能撇棄偏見,open mind的深入讀『聖經』這本書,而不是透過其他人說聖經裡面這樣,或者是什麼相關文章。而是『真真正正的研讀聖經』,瞭解歷史背景和裡面講到上帝所做的事情。

        會發現為何美國這個基督教立國的國家能夠發展那麼強大的原因,而離開基督教真義的美國為何現在會變成這樣。

        暢銷排行榜的好書都值得推薦去讀,更何況是暢銷了好幾百年的書,難道不值得去讀嗎?

        • Carol 說:

          至於講道摩西有立保護奴隸的規條,請見聖經 利未記25章39節

          • (Curtis)
            你還好意思提到利未記,你看完25章39節就不看下去的嗎?現在我把利未記25章中有關奴隸的節全列出來:

            39.你的弟兄若在你那裡漸漸窮乏,將自己賣給你,不可叫他像奴僕服事你。
            40.他要在你那裡像雇工人和寄居的一樣,要服事你直到禧年。
            41.到了禧年,他和他兒女要離開你,一同出去歸回本家,到他祖宗的地業那裡去。
            42.因為他們是我的僕人,是我從埃及地領出來的,不可賣為奴僕。
            43.不可嚴嚴地轄管他,只要敬畏你的神。
            44.至於你的奴僕、婢女,可以從你四圍的國中買。
            45.並且那寄居在你們中間的外人和他們的家屬,在你們地上所生的,你們也可以從其中買人;他們要作你們的產業。
            46.你們要將他們遺留給你們的子孫為產業,要永遠從他們中間揀出奴僕;只是你們的弟兄以色列人,你們不可嚴嚴地轄管。
            47.住在你那裡的外人,或是寄居的,若漸漸富足,你的弟兄卻漸漸窮乏,將自己賣給那外人,或是寄居的,或是外人的宗族,
            48.賣了以後,可以將他贖回。無論是他的弟兄,
            49.或伯叔、伯叔的兒子,本家的近支,都可以贖他。他自己若漸漸富足,也可以自贖。
            50.他要和買主計算,從賣自己的那年起,算到禧年;所賣的價值照著年數多少,好像工人每年的工價。
            51.若缺少的年數多,就要按著年數從買價中償還他的贖價。
            52.若到禧年只缺少幾年,就要按著年數和買主計算,償還他的贖價。
            53.他和買主同住,要像每年雇的工人,買主不可嚴嚴地轄管他。
            54.他若不這樣被贖,到了禧年,要和他的兒女一同出去。
            55.因為以色列人都是我的僕人,是我從埃及地領出來的。我是耶和華─你們的神。

            首先,經文中的「弟兄」二字的實際意思其實非常明顯,就是指以色列人,因為第42節明顯提到「因為他們是我的僕人,是我從埃及地領出來的,不可賣為奴僕。 」摩西時代從埃及地出來的,不是指以色列人,難道還包括中國人嗎?

            另外,第44至46節竟然提到:「至於你的奴僕、婢女,可以從你四圍的國中買。
            並且那寄居在你們中間的外人和他們的家屬,在你們地上所生的,你們也可以從其中買人;他們要作你們的產業。
            你們要將他們遺留給你們的子孫為產業,要永遠從他們中間揀出奴僕;只是你們的弟兄以色列人,你們不可嚴嚴地轄管。 」
            呵呵,這裡摩西直接指明,想找奴隸,請買外邦人。而且「他們要作你們的產業」,還要「將他們遺留給你們的子孫為產業,要永遠從他們中間揀出奴僕」!這不單一代為奴,根本就是世世為奴!這不是奴隸制,什麼才是奴隸制?

            保護奴隸的規條?先問問奴隸是不是以色列人吧!你真的讀懂聖經了嗎?

        • Carol 說:

          另外,美國解放黑奴的總統林肯,就是基於聖經真理而行的。
          這樣有回答中華人文主義者的問題嗎?

        • 山中 說:

          我們都有讀過聖經,你有沒有讀過就不清楚了。

          Exodus 21:20: If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

          保護奴隸?將奴隸打到半死並沒有任何問題。這也不是重點,重點是將人當爲物品去擁有是一件正確的事?上帝不去制止?而且耶穌來並不是要改變摩西法律,而是要成全它,你今天將奴隸打過半死了沒有?

        • (陽劍文) 簡直荒謬至極, 我為遠古至今的奴隸感到悲傷, 因為有一群活在物質富裕丶有基本人權保障的人不去體察他們。你的說話聽上去很刻薄。

          「既然已經成為奴隸就要好好的工作」? 你竟然還敢拿美國解放奴隸做例子? 解放奴隸不就是因為奴隸制本身就有問題嗎? 奴隸制如果有問題, 為何聖經沒有禁止反而叫奴隸接受現實就算? 不如你去做奴隸, 好不好? 現在要你歸屬於某人丶做某人的財產, 你是否願意? 父母與兒女、丈夫與妻子本質根本與奴隸制的本質不同, 你在說甚麼?

          山中引的段落我再引中文的:
          「出埃及記
          21:20人若用棍子打奴僕或婢女、立時死在他的手下、他必要受刑。
          21:21若過一兩天纔死、就可以不受刑、因為是用錢買的。」

          • Carol 說:

            那你們對奴隸這件事情做過什麼?就是發發文章說聖經對奴隸制怎麼樣嗎?
            有實際去幫助過他們?知道人所能做的事情很有限嗎?

            我是沒有被打過半死的經驗,但是耶穌有。
            如果你有讀過聖經,裡面有沒有說耶穌被打過半死?有吧!
            有沒有讀到審判的人說查不出來耶穌有罪,但之後還是被釘在十字架上?

            耶穌說成全神給摩西的律法,是指無人可以靠著自己的行為達到神所要的律法標準。

            所以,耶穌神兒子在『十字架上的救恩(代替犯罪之人而死),三天後死而復活』—>是這件事情成全律法。好嗎?這是基督教的『基要真理』,如果你都不清楚這個入門部份,那真的是討論不下去了。

            上面所說的是 『真真正正的 <>聖經』,要瞭解當時的歷史怎麼延續的,背景又是如何。而我必須誠實的說,聖經真的是很多奧秘,我就算窮盡自己的一生可能也無法讀透。

            除此之外,基督教的宗旨是要人能夠從心、心思被改變,能夠以耶穌的榜樣而活。
            所以說得再多都只是打口水戰而已~

            想與你們分享:
            我在美國的教會上週剛派了一對青少年團隊去泰國,去那些拯救被販賣的女孩的泰國機構關懷她們,希望她們能夠走出陰霾,過新的生活。每年定期去墨西哥、西非、菲律賓…許多的國家關懷那裡的貧窮孩童。

            美國Kansas city IHOP 24小時禱告殿每年都在為販賣人口,和未成年少女懷孕禱告。也默默的去做拯救、關懷,甚至鼓勵教會的基督徒領養他們的小孩,不要殺害生命。

            我不是要誇揚基督教會多好,基督徒有多偉大,但基督教只有耶和華、聖靈、耶穌是神,不管基督徒做了多少的好事,這輩子下輩子,永遠都不會成為神。

            而促使基督徒去做這些事情是因為他們透過聖經瞭解了神的愛,也知道神是多麼愛祂所造的每個人,將自己的獨生愛子耶穌賜給世人,也知道就算人成為了基督徒還是可能會犯錯。因此才要靠著耶穌來成全律法,讓信耶穌的人能夠悔改後,願意靠著神賜的力量改變,更才能活的更像耶穌。

            (知道你們可能又會找一些資料說有些教會怎麼樣,或者基督徒不怎麼樣。但要再重申一次,基督徒是人,不是神!有些人雖然成為了基督徒,但他們能被神改變還是需要有願意的心,而且可能還是常常會做錯事情)

            言盡與此~ 相逢是有緣,神愛世人,相信祂的愛不僅是為我預備,也是為你們預備的。

            約翰福音3:16
            神愛世人,甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的不致滅亡,反得永生。

          • 山中 說:

            爲奴隸禱告?爲什麽你們禱告完之後還會有人口販賣?你們的神去了什麽地方?如果這些都是神的旨意你禱告來又又何用?神爲了你的禱告改變他的旨意?

            這衹有三個可能。一是你的神根本不關心這些問題,他不想去管,甚至去縱容這種行爲,《聖經》所描述的神就是這樣。第二個可能是他想去管但是極度無能,管不了這碼事。第三就是你們的神根本就不存在。你想選哪一個?

  13. Carol 說:

    財團法人勵馨社會福利事業基金會

  14. paulcheng 說:

    不明白基督教徒點解不管討論什麽事情都要引經据典,上帝不是已經給你們造了腦袋的嗎?你地點解吾用呢?聖經是用來“教訓”“督責”“使人歸正”“教導人學義”的。你每天上幾次廁所,幾點吃飯,跟誰做朋友,佔中/不佔中,投票給那個政黨(或政棍),不用查聖經的。

    況且聖經是幾千年前的著作,對象是猶太人和信徒,對不信的人/外邦人,聖經怎麽說根本與他們無關。正如你啊媽教你做人的標準,你聽話是你的事,其他人頂多拿作參考,卻不一定要聼她的。

    尤其是牽涉到社會事務,要知道社會上還有其他信仰的人(沒有信仰也是一種信仰),除非教徒們還以爲自己活在中世紀,教會大曬。互相尊重,理性討論才是這個時代的準則。如果你還堅持書中每句話都是真理,歷史事實,都可以用科學解釋,相信你會活得很辛苦。

    近期最最荒謬的是,居然有人引用亞當,夏娃來印證聖經支持一男一女,一夫一妻的婚姻制度。如果呢個理論都可以成立,你就要同時接受聖經教導亂倫的事實。還有如果你真有讀經的話,婚姻,生育,其實是上帝給人類的詛咒,還說什麽祝福?上帝祝福的人,在舊約亞伯拉罕,大衛王等,都是妻妾成群的。至於新約的教導,卻是鼓勵獨身的。你到底想跟哪個標準呢。

    還有,聖經只記載上帝厭惡 “同性性行爲”(不是同性註冊結婚),就算我地認同這行爲是罪,難道我們可以立法不准犯罪的人(按聖經)結婚嗎?那不信上帝,貪婪,作假見證,拜觀音,黃大仙的,黑社會的,通通不准結婚(按基督教徒的標準)。敢,天國就可能很快實現了,因爲再過不久世界上就剩下一幫癡癡呆呆卻又非常聖潔的亞當同夏娃。

  15. paulcheng 說:

    好像離題了,但其實道理是一樣的。聖經,不管你怎麽理解,他依然是幾千年前的著作(不要跟我說什麽默示之類的道理)有他的時代背景,當時作者認同奴隸制度有何稀奇呢。

    正如聖經認同女人地位較低(不要提瑪麗亞,please) ,正如當時的人不知道地球是圓的而且飄浮在太空之中,更不可能知道什麽是大爆炸。當時的人肯定不知道什麽是公民抗命,硬要在裏面找些“金句”來支持佔中/或不佔中,其實同凡事都去求支籤看看菩薩怎麽說是一樣的。

    一個誠實的基督徒必須要承認有很多,很多,很多,很多事情是聖經沒有答案的。他不可能有宇宙是如何形成的答案,他肯定不可能提供地球毀滅的時間表,也不會告訴你怎樣對付溫室效應和使用核電。聖經只有一個目的,就是要叫猶太人/信徒學習謙卑,遵行誡命,順服上帝。耶穌不是已經總結了整本聖經為兩句話嗎?“。。。愛主你的神,其次,愛人如己”(。)

    至於社會問題,人際關係,政治等的答案,我建議除了多到這裡來看,讀點論語,孟子甚至易經可能會有更多啓發,因為那才是寫給活在現世的人看的經書。

  16. Natalie 說:

    事情好簡單,奴隸制度早在摩西5經未頒布前存在。
    而頒布律法,目的是令以色列人成為一個國家,成為一個民族,正式立國。
    當初律法的存在就是要解決及指引當時社會背景公義的問題,包括以色列人應該如何看待奴隸制度。
    首先大家不要斷章取義,應該將經文全面分析。
    首先奴隸顧名思義就是屬於主人的財產。(否則都不會叫奴隸吧?)
    Exodus 21:20: If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

    Deuteronomy 15:12-15: 12 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. 13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
    further reference: 12-18

    這個就是聖經處理奴隸制度的方法。
    當然猶太人跟不跟著做是另一個問題。
    所以律法是叫人知罪,不是用來維持公義。
    所以神不是用律法彰顯自己,而是用包容同忍耐。
    否則神的公義一到,所以人可以先byebye。
    難道世界上有絕對公義的人?
    所以神存不存在,是無神論者永遠無法理解的。
    因為信仰真的單靠信。信是證據。
    haha…好像一派胡言,但卻是無法反駁的。

  17. paulcheng 說:

    真的是一派胡言,無需反駁。正如一個瘋子把頭不停猛撞向墻,邊喊“很舒服啊“,你就不要打擾他。

  18. paulcheng 說:

    聖經處理奴隸制度的方法就是好好保管屬於你的財產,不要隨隨便便把他們打死(這是殺人,十誡禁止的),你只可以把它們打到半死(四分三都得),總之要確定它們過幾天可以爬起來繼續工作。

  19. paulcheng 說:

    //神不是用律法彰顯自己,而是用包容同忍耐。。// 神當然不是用律法彰顯自己啦,他是用洪水滅絕全世界(下次用火,上帝是信實的)。上帝包容同忍耐法老王,所以以色列人才會在埃及做奴隸幾百年。但上帝絕不包容同忍耐不聼話的百姓,他會馬上擊殺的。上面的兄姐們肯定可以列擧出一百個這樣的經文記載。上帝想了很久,決定親自下凡搭救世人,但也忍耐了幾千年。沒問題,上帝看千年如一日。

    再説一次,聖經真的不是”万應止痛膏布“,求求教會領導,屬霊的兄姐們不要再丟人了,好嗎?

  20. 通告: 聆聽水聲 | 中華人文主義者協會

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